In February 2021, the Leadership Academy conducted a survey into the well-being of leaders in the youth work sector as part of its ongoing commitment to an All-Wales Strategy for the Well-being of Educational Leaders. Senior and middle leaders in all areas of youth work were invited to respond to the survey. The survey questions were inspired by the Well-being of School Leaders: National Survey which the Leadership Academy conducted in Summer 2020. The Well-being Survey Report: Youth Work Sector 2021 outlines the findings of the survey.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the importance of education to national life in Wales. As places of learning, places of safety and places that bind our diverse communities together, youth work and other educational settings have again proven – if further proof were needed – that they together act as Wales’ national heartbeat.
The educational community has been dedicated to ‘keep Wales learning’ throughout the pandemic, and leaders in youth work, schools, further education colleges, and other educational settings across Wales have been among those under the most severe personal and professional strain. Leaders have overcome immense challenges during a turbulent period and have found themselves thinking more about others’ well-being, which has usually come at the expense of considering their own.
However, the pandemic has amplified – not created – a well-being crisis for educational leaders. In recent years, an increasing workload, a high stakes accountability system and a demanding (though welcome) suite of educational reforms, have placed an ever-greater burden on those in the role of educational leaders in Wales. The Leadership Academy will be working with key stakeholders to respond to the findings of the survey.